EVERY STORY HAS A BEGINNING
A Family History Rooted in Commodities.
OUR BEGINNINGS (1937-2017)
Founding & Establishment in Chicago
In 1937 founding fathers William Simeral & Dave Newman form what would be the first iteration of what would become MPB Commodities as Dave moves from the floor of the NY Produce Exchange to the city of broad shoulders to establish a cash brokerage engaging in animal fats, cottonseed oil, and coconut oil. After World War II (in which William Simeral nobly served as a member of the Army Air Corps) the company would grow with the advent of the soybean crop in the United States, and as newly minted members of the CBOT Dave Newman & William Simeral helped to establish the soybean oil and soybean meal futures contracts in the early 1950’s. in 1951 Simeral Commodities was established as a commercial commission house on the CBOT. In 1969 Virginia Hansen became the first woman member of the CBOT, as an employee of the firm. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the firm engaged in other business ventures that tied in with the brokerage business, including ownership in two soybean processing facilities, a grain solicitation business, as well as trucking business which was the firm’s first venture into what has now become their key differentiation to their competition – logistical expertise (the company would also later own a fleet of 500 railcars). The firm would also be intimately involved in establishing the short-lived coconut oil futures contract on the Pacific Coast Commodity Exchange. In 1971 the clearinghouse was sold, and a year later the firm would first resemble the modern-day team as fully independent cash brokers, known as W.M Simeral & Co based in the suburbs of Chicago.
Tropical Oils, Transition, and the Next Generation
In 1974, William Simeral was asked by the Malaysian Government to help develop a marketing plan for palm oil into the United States, and ultimately would later be a member of the CBOT delegation that collaborated with PORAM (Palm Oil Refiners Assoc of Malaysia) to establish the crude palm oil futures contract. W.M Simeral & Co. at this time were pioneers and leaders in marketing palm oil into North America, and were instrumental in establishing operations & relationships between plantation companies and consumers in North America which decades later would prove to be instrumental in managing the transition from partially hydrogenated fats into the trans-free era that we currently live in. In 1984, William Simeral retired, and his sons Bill & Steve would take the reigns for the 2nd generation of the business. At this time, the firm was focused on tropical oils, soybean oil and growing their expertise in logistics management with the establishment of Ryco, Inc in 1983 which served as a railcar management company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of WMS).
A New Millennium, A New Era & The 3rd Generation
By 1995, MPB Commodities was established under the leadership of Steve Simeral, and shortly thereafter the firm relocates to Annapolis, Maryland just outside of founding father Dave Newman’s birthplace of Baltimore, MD. In 2004, the FDA requires that all products containing Trans Fats to be labeled as such, thus launching the movement away from partially hydrogenated oils and reintroducing tropical oils into the North American market in a significant way for the first time since 1989. MPB is uniquely positioned as experts in both the soybean and palm oil trade to help guide the industry over the next several years as this significant change takes place. It is also around this time when Kevin Flanagan & Ryan Simeral join the firm. MPB continued its forward-thinking ways in recent years, as current President Valerie Simeral turned a background in engineering into the launching pad for CERES, a custom made a cloud-based software system that has changed how logistics and position management are done and raised the bar for the entire industry. 2017 was a marquee year for the firm, as the ownership of the firm transition to a 3rdGeneration with Ryan & Valerie Simeral helping to lead the firm into the future. The expertise on the team also expanded during this time, with not only decades of vegetable oil brokering experience on the team, but significant experience across soy and canola crush, domestic refined oils, trading, renewable fuels as well as a fully-staffed operations team with years of industry experience.
MPB TODAY (2017-CURRENT)
Today, MPB Commodities is owned by Ryan & Valerie Simeral, who in collaboration with the rest of team are able to provide full service solutions to their customer base.
Senior Broker Team
Kevin Flanagan, the most tenured employee on staff, Kevin has experience in managing both liquid oil and tropical oil flows, with an unmatched attention to detail which has proven instrumental to our partners through vast industry changes over the past 15 years
Steven Luster, after 15 years in the industry, which included crude & refined liquid oil selling and buying Steve leads MPB’s liquid oils efforts through in depth analysis along with his wealth of experience in sales, trading, risk management and procurement
Brian Shultz, MPB’s most recent addition, brings experience in crude soybean oil trading, as well as nearly a decade of trading animal fats and waste oils with a unique understanding of the intricacies of the biodiesel and renewable diesel markets.
Jessica Hecht, the leader of MPB operations team has nearly 15 years of experience in the vegetable oil industry, the majority of those years being spent managing supply chains across tropical and liquid oils.
MPB Commodities has now been headquartered in historic Annapolis, Maryland, right down the street from the US Naval Academy for nearly 20 years. The entire team is centrally located and enjoys a collaborative atmosphere in a traditional trade floor setting. MPB’s philosophy is one of teamwork and inclusion, as clients enjoy the freedom and flexibility to work with any and everyone on the team. MPB employs a forward thinking approach, investing in the growth and stability of the company’s infrastructure and resources to support the young, dynamic team for the future. While the flamingo has been our calling card for decades, the broad expertise that MPB provides proves to be a consistent value added proposition across all fats and oils consumed in North America.
MPB has grown into a solidified and cohesive organization made up of experienced and tenured client-focused and results-driven professionals. Together, this collective makes up the totality of MPB, and the combined experience benefits clients by providing value in an unparalleled fashion.
Industry Leadership, Education, and Sustainability
As we move into the future, knowledge and education are of the utmost importance. Becoming an educator and providing knowledge to the entire industry will help to keep MPB prepared for the future. Our investment and commitment to this market are unwavering. We are able to show that through our expertise and know-how of all parts of the industry.
A main focus for MPB is becoming increasingly sustainable overall. This is a focus that will never change as the industry continues to evolve. We will implement tactics to help reduce our footprint as a whole and reinvest in local communities. Through philanthropy, both local and global, MPB will contribute time, resources, and finances to help better the planet.